Problems with a USB network adapter for a PC

  • #1
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Frequent visitors of this forum will remember my previous thread where I mentioned an issue with the USB LAN adapter in our desktop - it used to disconnect automatically from the net. We could narrow down to the fact that the problem occurred only when we were downloading large files (>= 800 MB). (Note that we have unlimited data.)

Now a new problem has started: we just cannot connect to the internet. When I am pinging the ISP server, it is saying "Request timed out" continuously. And this time, it is not solved by rebooting. I had a word with the technician from the ISP. He said that their systems are showing that our MAC is properly connected, so the problem is not on their side. He also pointed out that since the previous problem (disconnecting from the net suddenly) was getting solved by restarting the PC, there should be a problem in our PC rather than their server.

It will take some time for us to buy a PCI-based network adapter, because the ones on Amazon do not have a good rating and we will have to buy it from a shop. Till then, does anyone have any advice? Can I try anything with the USB adapter to get it working again?
 

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  • #2
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Is it just your PC which has problems? For example if your phone connected via Wifi can access the internet through it then the problem is likely to be with your computer somewhere.

Do you get an IP address from the router on the computer? If you Go to start>run and type CMD to get a command windows up and in it type "ipconfig" does it return an IP address? If it does it will list a Default Gateway, can you ping that gateway? Have you ste a static IP on your network card maybe when it shoudl be dynamic?
 
  • #3
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Is it just your PC which has problems? For example if your phone connected via Wifi can access the internet through it then the problem is likely to be with your computer somewhere.
There is no question of WiFi. The ethernet cable directly enters the PC.
Do you get an IP address from the router on the computer? If you Go to start>run and type CMD to get a command windows up and in it type "ipconfig" does it return an IP address? If it does it will list a Default Gateway, can you ping that gateway? Have you ste a static IP on your network card maybe when it shoudl be dynamic?
We have set a static IP, and that is what the ISP wants. I also verified the ipconfig with the technician, and it was correct.
 
  • #4
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I asked about your phone wifi to confirm the internet connection itself is working from the router, that's always the first step. Have you confirmed this at all by any other means apart from the "problem" PC? Don't just take the ISP's word for this, you are likely speaking to a 1st line support analyst who is paid peanuts and is just reading off a script.
 
  • #5
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Once you know that the router really does have internet access.......If you have done an ipconfig then you know about the command shell, go back into it and see if you can ping the default gateway. If you can't do that and you have internet access using another device then you know it's the connection to your PC that's the problem.
 
  • #6
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I asked about your phone wifi to confirm the internet connection itself is working from the router, that's always the first step. Have you confirmed this at all by any other means apart from the "problem" PC?
No, I didn't confirm, because I have no other means of confirming. We don't have a router installed in our house. There is a network switch[1] outside our house, from there the ethernet cable directly enters the PC.

I just went to check if the PC can reach the default gateway, and found to my surprise that the connection has been restored. No idea how that happened. I spent the whole afternoon trying to find a solution.

[1] Truth be told, I don't even know whether the device outside our house is a router or a switch. All I know is the following: it does not need any separate power supply; one cable comes from the local ISP office, and all other connections around our house are connected to this device.
 
  • #7
Tom.G
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Can I try anything with the USB adapter to get it working again?
Yup, try putting it in a freezer for a half hour.

That description sounds like the "switch" is a "splitter." Two different things.

Any chance you can post a close-up photo of the "switch"? Also of the USB LAN Adapter?

Next time it fails, see if plugging in to a different network cable in your house has any results.

If it uses a full-size USB connector that has been repeatedly plugged/unplugged, the connector could be a worn out. The usual ones are rated for 1500 plug/unplug cycles. Or the LAN connector could be worn out, or dirty.

In any case, so far my impression is the same as yours; it's the USB-LAN Adapter; but the cables are not above suspicion.

Or there could even be a spider in that "switch" outside! :oldbiggrin:

Keep us posted, when you can.

Cheers,
Tom
 
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  • #8
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Any chance you can post a close-up photo of the "switch"?
Not possible. It is enclosed in a water-proof box; I can only see cables going in and out of it.
Also of the USB LAN Adapter?
20200717_120750.jpg

If it uses a full-size USB connector that has been repeatedly plugged/unplugged, the connector could be a worn out. The usual ones are rated for 1500 plug/unplug cycles.
This one seems to be new. I don't, however, know about the condition of the circuit inside that white box shown above.
 
  • #9
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Ok, so this is definately a non-standard setup. Looks like you have some kind of managed solution and you just get provided a network connection. Never seen anything like this before.

Normally you get a phone line coming into a property and you connect that to a router.

You could still connect up a router to it if you wanted multiple connections but that will ned some tech know how.
 
  • #10
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Ok, so this is definately a non-standard setup. Looks like you have some kind of managed solution and you just get provided a network connection. Never seen anything like this before.

Normally you get a phone line coming into a property and you connect that to a router.
No, we do not have a phone line (RJ11) coming into our house. Instead, we have an ethernet cable (RJ45) that can be directly connected to the PC.

I know that normally people do need routers in their houses. But we don't. Maybe the local ISP office provides a router for our house, as well as the neighbouring houses. I know that the neighbouring houses too don't require a separate router.

I would need a router if, for example, I wanted to get WiFi out of the cable ethernet. In that case, I would buy a WiFi router (for example, this one), connect the incoming ethernet cable to its input, and get WiFi. Nowadays most WiFi routers also come with built-in switches, so I can connect my PC to the internet via an ethernet cable using one of the switch ports.

Another interesting thing: previously, if we switched on Network Discovery, we could see several other PCs (from neighbouring houses) connected to the network. Now we can no longer see them. I haven't checked this since a long time, so I am not sure if the ISP changed some setting, or I cannot see those PCs due to my new network adapter.
 
  • #11
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Sound like they are treating you all as 1 big network and just using a local switch to connect you up. Sound pretty cheap to me and a way to save money as they only really need 1 connection for you and all your neighbours. I don;t see how this can guarantee you any bandwidth as you will all be sharng the connection speed.
 
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  • #12
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Sound like they are treating you all as 1 big network and just using a local switch to connect you up. Sound pretty cheap to me and a way to save money as they only really need 1 connection for you and all your neighbours. I don;t see how this can guarantee you any bandwidth as you will all be sharng the connection speed.
Quite possible, but I can't complain because my plan entitles me to 100 Mbps speed, and they are giving it to me:

Capture.JPG
 
  • #13
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Negative, that window you have pasted just shows the maximum possible communication speed between yourself and the switch you are connected to. That switch might have 1Mbps connection to the internet or a 1Gbps connection to the internet and it would still read the same thing, that's not your "internet" speed.

You need to try a speed test web site to find out your true internet speed. Something like https://www.speedtest.net/ will tell you what your current bandwidth is. This will likely vary depending what time of day you try it. If you try it during the evening, i.e. when most people are using the connection, you will likely get a slower speed than say during the early hours of the morning when few people would be using the connection.

Try that web site various times during the day and see what it averages out to. Even if it is connected to a faster internet connection you are likely sharing that adverstiesed bandwidth with the rest of your neighbours so if they are using more bandwidth you will get less.

Initially to me it sounds like your ISP is counting on an unknowledgable user base to tell then they are getting something they are not? What country are you based in? Are these type of connections "normal" where you live?
 
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  • #14
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Thanks @MikeeMiracle, I will try that out. But doesn't the download/upload speed sometimes also depend on the server? I am asking because I have seen websites that deliberately provide a low download speed so that users are forced to buy their premium plans.
What country are you based in?
India.
Are these type of connections "normal" where you live?
Back in 2007 we had a dial-up connection. There used to be a RJ-11 telephone line coming into our house, and then into a modem, from which a RJ-45 cable connected to our PC. That connection was very slow, so we switched to this new ISP in around 2010, and have been using their services since then. Many of our neighbours too use this ISP. Cannot comment whether these type of connections are "normal", because I am not sure what other ISPs are doing.

My laptop runs on the WiFi hotspot from my smartphone. The ISP is different for my phone, and the maximum speed shown is 72 Mbps. However, I never get a speed above 2 Mbps using the website you linked (I have checked that before at different times of the day.)
 
  • #15
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That web site is independant and linked into a server in high speed datacenters closest to your location. It's purely a test web site and is not looking to sell you anything.

Your phone wifi has the same issue I described for your desktop. That 72Mbs is the speed of the connection between your computer and the wifi hot spot on your phone, it has nothing to do with the internet speed.

If you getting a 2Mbs speed for that web site then that's likely the speed of your internet connection. You can do a google search for other "speed test" web sites and check your connection speed against those also if you want confirmation.

You would need something like a fibre connection to get a true 100Mbps internet speed, and those are only likely to have been laid in high population area's like cities.
 
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  • #16
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Update:

I bought a TP-LINK TG-3468 Gigabit PCIe Network Adapter from Amazon India. It requires a x1 PCIe slot, and our motherboard has a x4 slot, so it could fit in properly:

20200922_143554.00.00.03.jpg


Once the ISP authorized the new MAC address, I did a speed test using Ookla, and got a ~ 50 Mbps download and upload speed. The results can be viewed here. Not the promised 100 Mbps, but definitely much better than ~ 6 Mbps that it was showing previously. This implies that the previous USB LAN adapter was problematic.

Till now, the internet has been working fine. No more sudden disruptions. Today I created a WiFi hotspot on the PC and connected my laptop to it. ~3 GB MATLAB download was completed in around two minutes. I used it for five hours total, and the connection was stable while I attended a two-hour webinar, so I can say that I am fairly satisfied with the new adapter.
 
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